Oh, this is too much. Peter gets kicked out of a store for using a Tablet PC. Read why here.
At the PDC I'm staying at the Standard Hotel. The trick will be to see how many hours I get to actually spend at the hotel. I doubt many.
Don Box: Indigo is a state of mind.
I love Don's teases.
Chris Anderson is working on his PDC speech. Heh, I know the guy who's bugging speakers right now. Steve Cellini. I'm glad I don't have Steve's job right now. Steve is bugging me to do other things, though, so know the pressure well!
This weekend I'm working on a set of employee cards that employees will wear in their badge holders. I'm doing about 60 cards. One for each team. Some teams haven't given me their info yet. Bad bad bad.
The cards are so that attendees can identify Microsoft's employees and know a little bit about them. Imagine meeting Chris Anderson in the elevator. He'll have on an "Avalon" card. You'll see his card, say "oh, you work on the Avalon team, huh? Can you tell me why..."
The cards will be cool. Designed by David Shadle, one of the top user interface experts/graphic designers in the world. If it wasn't for my blog, you'd never know his name. When you see the demos that Gates and Allchin use on stage during their keynotes, you'll probably be seeing his work. David works a few feet from me and he's simply amazing. What's really weird is how amazing is expected on our team. I'm having a hard time coming up to that standard.
Fast Company: Can Microsoft Finally Kill All the Bugs?
I was reading some of the Indigo team's plans and they have extensive plans and education they are doing to get bugs out of the system. And they are only one of the teams building stuff that goes into Longhorn. There are entire other teams working on Windows XP too.
Looking at it, it's a very tough job. There will be books written about the "get the bugs out" efforts being made. Billions are being invested. This is not a small effort for Microsoft.
I sure am not the one that will try to say that Longhorn will be bug free. Anyone who tries to say that they guarantee that their code is bug free should be ignored as a lunatic.
That said, I'm quite happy with how the future looks.
I just saw over at Evan William's blog that Biz Stone is doing another blogging book. I wonder about people who buy books about blogging. It seems that if you wanted to learn about blogging, wouldn't you read blogs? Hmm.
Joi Ito tells us that he's scared that Microsoft will do the wrong thing when it comes to blogging. I've been involved in a bunch of secret conversations about blogging and syndication inside Microsoft and so far I am happy to say we've been taking the high road. Come to the PDC to see how we're using RSS 2.0, for instance.
Will Longhorn do anything nasty? Let's talk about it in five weeks after everyone gets to see our plans at the PDC. There's a lot of plans for metadata in there, to be sure.
By the way, my weblog IS metadata that Google uses. Think about that one for a while.
NPR has an audio interview with Salam Pax. I'm listening to it now and it's excellent.
Some other fun facts about MSN Messenger I learned yesterday:
1) More than 100 million people have downloaded MSN Messenger.
2) Last week we passed 10 million people online continuously. To put that in perspective, that's more people than live in the entire San Francisco Bay Area including Silicon Valley and Sacramento.
Congrats to MSN for these impressive milestones!
One other thing I've noticed lately is how we talk about corporations. I was called on the carpet yesterday because I started using "we" or "us" when talking about Microsoft.
That got me thinking. What is a corporation? It's a group of people. But the press never talks about the people who build a feature. It just says "Microsoft did this."
In fact, some people look at my weblog and say "Microsoft says." That always cracks me up. I work next to one of Microsoft's top marketing people, Adam Sohn. A lot of times when he talks to press, he's doing it in an official Microsoft capacity. But, often his quotes get turned into "a Microsoft spokesperson says."
It's not just a Microsoft thing, either. It's a corporate thing. We never know the names of the people who put the rivets into a Boeing plane. It's just done "by Boeing."
You know, every single pixel on your screen was designed by someone. But, we always say "Microsoft did it."
The language we use about corporations bugs me. I'm not sure why yet, so I thought I'd throw that out to the blogosphere as something to think about this weekend. Why do we use the language we use when describing what we do at work?
James Robertson: Scoble and Microsoft so don't get the point [about IM licensing policy].
Yesterday's thread got more comments than usual. Funny enough, I had lunch with one of MSN Messenger's program managers yesterday. Real nice guy. He told me they made the change mostly for security reasons (they had a hole that needed to be closed, but that would also close how many of the third-party IM clients were getting access).
But, back to James' claims. This is an interesting claim, that customers' value goes up as more people who get access to the network. That's absolutely true, but at some point customers value clashes with business reality. Here, let's look at the customer value vs. business reality problem a different way.
If I go into a Toyota dealership to look at a Corolla, I wonder if they'd agree to sell me one of its Avalons (a much higher priced car) for the price of the Corolla? No? Of course. Now isn't that evil!
But that's what James wants Microsoft to do. He wants Microsoft to invest in the network, pay the bandwidth, the salaries of the folks doing everything, wants a state-of-the-art data center so his IM always stays up and doesn't get flaky, but then wants to use it from any third-party client that can attach to the network. That, and he wants Microsoft to leave open a security flaw so that his third-party network can get access.
That sounds as sane to me as if I expected Toyota to sell me one of its Avalons at the same price as a Corolla. Yes, customers would get increased value from having more people on the network. But, that cost must be justified with sound business reasoning. So far, I haven't seen that reasoning.
Publishers Weekly: Booksellers fight tech slump.
Wired: Why stock options still rule.
I've had stock options three times in my life so far. None have paid off. At all. Not a dollar. Now, my Microsoft options are doing OK, for being here four months. The MSFT stock is up about three dollars since I arrived here a little more than four months ago. That's a lot of value created. Did you realize that for each dollar Microsoft's stock goes up, it creates more value than one of our famous competitors and all the cash they have on hand? Wow.
Will I get rich at Microsoft? No. I only have a little more than a thousand options. Certainly not in the range of some of our execs who have hundreds of thousands to millions.
I don't really care. Why? My main motivation is doing something that 1) Matters and 2) Is fun. Microsoft matters and it's fun working here. If someone offers me a job that's more fun, or matters more, I'd consider it. If they only offered me a chance to get rich, I'd turn it down. Those promises rarely come true. Only one out of every 20 companies survives anyway.
Steve Wozniak and I have talked about this topic. Before he started Apple, he had no clue he'd get to be one of Silicon Valley's richest residents. He did it cause it was fun and because he thought it would matter to people (building personal computers).
I feel sorry for people who only do what they do for the money. It sure seems like a hollow unhappy life. Not to mention, after you cash out, what you gonna do, sit on an island and contemplate your navel? I met someone at Microsoft who did just that and he got bored and now is working at Microsoft again, despite having enough money to guarantee he'd never have to work again.
The premise of Wired's article is just wrong. There's lots of rich people still working at Microsoft. If the article was right, why do Allchin, Ballmer, and Gates go to work anymore? They certainly could buy entire chains of islands and go sit on them all day long.
Ever consider that there's a bunch of people out there who work, not to get rich, but because the work 1) matters and 2) is fun?
Thanks to Ole for the link.
I'm glad Dave Winer is my friend. Keep it up Dave, and sorry for the loss of your Uncle.